If you have an Xbox Live Gold account, you can download Battlefield: Bad Company 2 for free on the Xbox 360. You can’t play online though! As of today, no servers are active for the Xbox 360, which can be seen on the left hand side of the Bad Company 2 site stats (or screenshot below).
With the majority of the content that players want in Battlefield: Bad Company 2 inaccessible to them, there isn’t much incentive to download it. Yes, the campaign is worth something, but it certainly wasn’t the main reason people wanted to play it on release, nor is it likely the reason they want to download it now.
Hopefully in the coming weeks the servers will be up so the Gold account users will have a reason to keep up the subscriptions, so they can actually PLAY the games they have.
UPDATE: EA’s help page recommends you download the ‘VIP Pass’ from the marketplace to enable online play for BFBC2.
Additionally, the Battlefield Twitter account is reminding people that error messages may be due to full servers, and suggests people continue trying.